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New Beacon Technology to Enhance Mobile Loyalty for Local Merchants

First Data Ships Free Beacons to All Perka™ Subscribers; Largest Single-Vendor Beacon Deployment in the U.S.

ATLANTA, Oct. 23, 2014 – Thousands of individual small to medium-sized businesses across the United States are receiving a device that brings the future of retail technology right into their stores: the Perka™ beacon. First Data Corporation, the global leader in payment technology and services solutions, has enhanced the Perka mobile loyalty solution with the Perka beacon, a small, low-powered device that communicates wirelessly with the Perka app, enabling increased customer engagement and a faster, more personalized retail experience.

"By connecting merchants and consumers in a seamless way at the point of sale, the Perka solution enables even the smallest store to design a customized marketing and loyalty program," said Guy Chiarello, First Data president. "The Perka beacon is now an important component of the Perka solution and puts a professional-grade, presence-detecting technology directly into the hands of thousands of unique local merchants. These merchants will have the ability to check-in customers as soon as they walk in the door and create a smoother, faster experience inside their stores."

How it Works

Once Perka merchants place the beacon near the store entrance or point of sale, they can sync the beacon with their Perka mobile loyalty program within minutes. Powered by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications technology, the Perka beacon wirelessly checks customers into stores automatically as soon as they are within range of the beacon (typically about 50 feet). Customers no longer need to launch the Perka app on their smartphones, allowing merchants to instantly greet their customers by name and award perks for confirmed purchases.

Beacons: A Driving Force in the Future of Retail

According to Business Insider’s BI Intelligence report1, only three percent of retailers have customer recognition technology in place today. But that number is expected to skyrocket to 72 percent within five years, especially among large retailers.

"Beacons will play a major role in the growth of customer recognition technology because of their ability to broker a relevant touchless connection between parties, and the potential to facilitate more engaging in-store and out-of-store shopping experiences," said Thad Peterson, senior analyst at Aite Group. "The use of beacons is a turning point for First Data’s mobile loyalty platform and reconfirms their commitment to providing innovative solutions to help SMBs grow their businesses."

Among The Industry’s First Beacons with Rolling-Code Security

Continuing First Data’s five-decade tradition of providing secure transactions for merchants and customers around the globe, the Perka beacon is among the first in the industry to use rolling-code technology, which provides an encrypted check-in each time the customer enters the store. This feature makes it much harder for malicious hacking and spoofing activity to occur.

"If beacon technology is to be a key enabler of location-based mobile marketing for merchants then security must be addressed sooner rather than later," added Peterson. "Given First Data’s longstanding heritage in the payment processing industry, it is uniquely positioned to address security head-on."

Perka Beacon Availability

The Perka beacon supports both Apple iOS and Google Android mobile devices. All current Perka subscribers will receive a free beacon, and all new subscribers will receive a beacon in their activation kit when they sign up.

Source: First Data

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